I know that’s like admitting I enjoy rubbing my chest with peanut butter and inviting the dog to lick it off, but it’s true. The tax part, not the dog thing.
Well, the tax thing used to be true.
When I sat down to do my taxes Saturday afternoon, it became clear things aren’t as simple as they were last year.
I’ve used Turbo Tax for about ten years, and I’ve always regarded it like a cross between a video game and a really weird Cosmo quiz.
Did you earn this income while an inmate at a penal institution?
I can’t tell you how much I want to check that box (and also how much I love the word penal).
But this year…well, things aren’t as simple.
While I’m thrilled to have income to report from my three-book deal, it complicates things. Ditto that for expenses like conferences, membership fees, and the costs involved with research. Do I get to write off wine tastings at vineyards I visited while learning about the wine industry for LET IT BREATHE? What about the wine I drank while writing the first love scene? Or the second one? Or...
As I cranked away at the computer over the weekend, my pets got in on the action. Matt the Cat crawled across my keyboard and Turbo Tax reported my tax bill had just been reduced by $200.
I tried to get him to do it again, but by then he was lying on a giant pile of receipts focusing on paperwork reduction. Every time he twitched his tail, another form hit the floor.
When the pile got big enough, Blue Cat moseyed along and offered his services as a paperweight.
The dog did her part by dragging her leash over and giving me the look that says, “are we going for a walk or am I going to have to chew your ear off while you sleep?
So we went to the dog park and I spent the time mulling whether this should be the year I throw all this paperwork in a box and either light it on fire or hand it off to someone who actually knows what they’re doing.
How do you handle taxes? Do you use a professional or hack it on your own? If you’re published or pursuing publication, do you have a system for writing-related write-offs? Please share!
The dog and I will be busy discussing whether we can deduct peanut butter as a business expense.